A Creative Director Looks to Everyday Life in the Philippines for Inspiration

Drawing on roots to find new images

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We spend so much time looking at images, especially in our industry. We’re consuming them and creating them at a mind-boggling rate. There’s even AI opening up a score of new possibilities.

But it’s still important to look to the world around us and find images as they unfold in real, everyday life.

The images happening all around us, in our own little lives and adventures, are the ones to look out for. Naturally, they’re the ones with authenticity and humanity at the center, and that’s what we’re constantly trying to recreate for brands. So although it may be easier than ever to manufacture an image, we can’t let ourselves forget how the real thing is supposed to feel.

A familiar energy

I was born in the Philippines but moved to the U.S. while still a toddler, never really knowing my birthplace and visiting only once as a teenager. Recently, I decided to return, but this time with a curiosity and desire to reconnect with my roots.

What I found was a familiar energy permeating the place, its people, plants and the vibrant colors of everyday life. It was actually a warmth I’d felt before, present in my Filipino American upbringing in Chicago. A feeling I hope to capture in these photos.


The playful nature of the place kept things loose and reminded me not to take things so seriously.


Color isn’t shy in the Philippines. It makes itself known in everything from objects, to what people wear, to plants.


Everywhere I looked, there was a bit of charm even in the most modest of places.


I felt an abundance of warmth and generosity from the people and the culture, which allowed me to feel at home.